Interview with Michelle Reilly, Head of MIU at Weightmans

Michelle what is your role at Weightmans?

I am the Business Centre Manager for the Motor Investigation Unit based in Liverpool.

Why did you become a solicitor?

I am not a solicitor. I was an Insurance Claims Manager before I joined Weightmans 16 years ago. I was looking for a new challenge. I have worked my way up from a paralegal.

What's the best thing about your job?

Bringing new people into my team and watching them develop into talented fraud case handlers.

What's the toughest thing about your job?

Occasionally having to compromise a case, where fraud is suspected, because there is simply not enough evidence to run to Trial.

Who has been the biggest influence in your career to date?

My sister Elaine Chapman, who is a Partner at Weightmans. She also followed a slightly non-traditional route, progressing from a Legal executive, then qualifying as a solicitor.

What's the most interesting case you have dealt with?

I love my work, so it is difficult to pick one case. The cases that interest me the most are the ones that require me to 'think outside the box' and find new and innovative ways to catch the fraudsters out.

What has been the greatest achievement in your profession to date?

I was very proud to be selected as one of the first non-solicitor Associates in Weightmans.

What would you have been if you weren't a lawyer?

A Wine Taster!

What would you advise lawyers beginning their legal career today?

I would advise all level of fee earners to look out for opportunities that allow you to stand out from your peers. Be innovative, have a positive attitude and remember to always try and view matters from your client's perspective.